Miranda Lambert has released another track off her upcoming album Palomino, ahead of its April 29 drop date. “Actin’ Up” is a swaggering slice of woozy country-rock, with Lambert dropping a wealth of pop-culture references in the lyrics.
In the first two verses alone, she alludes to Tommy James and the Shondells’ 1968 hit “Mony Mony,” Steve McQueen’s Mustang, and a golfer currently competing in this weekend’s Masters. “Even Tiger Woods couldn’t swing it this good,” Lambert sings.
Written by Lambert with Luke Dick and Jon Randall — Palomino’s co-producers — “Actin’ Up” also name-drops Elvis and Will Ferrell’s fast-driving redneck hero in Talladega Nights. “I’m out in the Mojave, call me Ricky, call me Bobby,” she dares. “Call me hotter than wasabi/cause I’m actin’ up.”
Lambert recently told Rolling Stone the song is about a female protagonist who is a “little bit naughty.” It serves as a more nuanced kind of attitude song.
“I struggle because I have to sing ‘Kerosene,’ ‘Mama’s Broken Heart,’ and ‘Little Red Wagon’ forever, and what’s that going to look like at 70? Those are songs that set up that whole side of my career,” Lambert said. “My grandma was a firecracker until her last breath, drinking Crown and Coke. If she can do it, I’ve just got to figure out a way to do it artistically. ‘Actin’ Up’ and ‘Geraldene’ are both songs where there’s fire, but I’m not burning down the house.”
Palomino is the follow-up to Lambert’s collaborative album The Marfa Tapes, with Randall and Jack Ingram. The new LP features guest shots by the B-52’s and a cover of Mick Jagger’s “Wandering Spirit.”